Taliesin

One of the major folktales, or legends, in the Bardic tradition is that of Taliesin, from the Welsh Mabinogion. The tale tells of the goddess Ceridwen, who brewed a potion (the Awen) to help her son, who was the ugliest in the land, gain wisdom. She hired a local lad, Gwion, to tend the cauldron and, as these myths tend to go, Gwion ended up accidentally gaining the wisdom of the Awen himself. A series of shape-shifting chases between him and Ceridwen follow, and eventually Gwion, as a grain of wheat, is eaten by Ceridwen, in the form of a hen. Nine months later, guess what? Ceridwen gives birth to Gwion, now transformed into Taliesin, the greatest Bard in Britain.

Well, that’s the short version anyway. Far better in the case of folklore to hear the tale than read it, and so here’s Damh the Bard with his brilliant verse rendition of “Ceridwen and Taliesin”.

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